Tuesday 16 January 2007

RSS not a hit with online consumers or intranets

Clearly those of us who have adopted RSS are in the minority - care of Trevor Cook, Scientific American reports on the poor uptake of RSS. Quoting Charlene Li from Forrester, she tells us that their research shows only 2% of online consumers bother with RSS. Incidentally Li also reported earlier in the year on her blog that "only 1% of online households in North America regularly download and listen to podcasts".

Similarly, while Jakob Nielsen doesn't have a lot that's interesting to say about Enterprise 2.0, I did come across this article (you'll need to scroll down) from earlier in the year talking about email newsletter that examines the value of RSS feeds - he concludes:

"Feeds are a cold medium in comparison with email newsletters. Feeds do not form the same relationship between company and customers that a good newsletter can build. We don't have data to calculate the relative business value of a newsletter subscriber compared to a feeds subscriber, but I wouldn't be surprised if it turns out that companies make ten times as much money from each newsletter subscriber. Given that newsletters are a much more powerful and warm medium, it is probably best for most companies to encourage newsletter subscriptions and promote them over website feeds."

I wonder if Nielsen isn't confusing the value of content with the value of connection that a blog, rather than straight news, feed can create?

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